Community Internal Medicine of Athens expands

Community Internal Medicine of Athens is growing. CIMA is a medical practice offering comprehensive outpatient care for adults, with care provided by resident physicians and faculty.

CIMA has expanded to occupy the entire lower floor of Building 200 in the Resource Medical Office Park at 1500 Oglethorpe Ave., just off the Athens Perimeter. The practice's new suite number is 200-C.

In a corresponding move, Johnson & Murthy Family Medicine has relocated upstairs in the same building to Suite 200-A.  Both practices are part of St. Mary's Medical Group.

CIMA is expanding to accommodate new services and 12 new resident physicians who began practicing with the Internal Medicine Residency Program (IMRP) on July 1. The program is a collaborative effort between St. Mary's and the Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership to address the shortage of physicians in Georgia.

Resident physicians are doctors who have graduated from medical school and are completing the final stage of their medical training. Fully capable physicians, they are working with physician faculty in an intensive three-year program to prepare them to become board-certified internal medicine physicians.

With the addition of the Class of 2020, the IMRP has now reached 33 resident physicians. Residents with the previous two classes already practice at CIMA on a rotating basis, coupling outpatient care at the practice with inpatient care at St. Mary's Hospital.

The expansion of CIMA accommodates the additional residents by adding six patient exam rooms and a larger waiting area for patients. The expansion also allows CIMA to add a social worker to the staff and provide same-day appointments on most days.

CIMA is a traditional outpatient physician practice in many ways, but with a bonus. Because care is provided by resident physicians under the direct supervision of physician faculty, patients typically receive more one-on-one time with their physician than is possible in a traditional primary care setting. For first-year residents, physician faculty not only review and approve clinical decisions but are often directly involved in evaluating patients side-by-side with the resident. As residents gain experience over the course of their residency, they assume greater responsibility and independence, though always with physician faculty supervision.

CIMA provides full internal medicine care for adults, including routine wellness visits, treatment of minor acute illnesses and injuries, and management of certain chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and diabetes. CIMA physicians can prescribe medications and order tests, including lab work and imaging.

While CIMA accepts some walk-in patients, most visits are by appointment. The practice strives to create a partnership between each patient and a resident physician who will be that patient's personal physician during the resident's tenure at CIMA.

To make a new patient appointment, please call 706.389.3875. For more information, visit www.cimathens.com.

Writer: Mark Ralston, St. Mary's